Contact: Shawn Uhlman, Prosper Portland, 503-823-7994

Significant projects include Human Solutions service center, expanded service and education space at Imago Theater, Stone Soup workforce development training facility and Kickstand Comedy’s transformation of a theater space into thriving inclusive hub for performance and education.


Prosper Portland is working closely with the mayor and governor as well as private partners to expand resources to help small businesses stay solvent and retain employees, including as additional local, regional and national resources become available. As Prosper Portland continues its efforts to keep the city’s small businesses and community anchors afloat, its regular grant programs continue.

The agency will award $1,250,254 in Community Livability Grants for fiscal 2019-20 to 24 projects in five tax increment districts or neighborhoods, leveraging more than $6.6 million in private investment. Two projects in Central Eastside, three in Gateway Regional Center, three in Lents Town Center, five in the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood and 11 in Interstate Corridor will receive funding.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “Our assistance to community-serving projects is more critical than ever in the face of the challenges presented by the current public health and economic crisis. We’re grateful to be able to continue helping community organizations fulfill the aspirations of their neighborhoods and better serve diverse populations throughout the city with this year’s awards.”

The evaluation committees for each area included representatives from community organizations, neighborhood and business associations, and non-profit organizations as well as individual business owners and Prosper Portland staff.

The Community Livability Grant Program gives funding priority to projects that improve access to jobs and workforce development services; support wealth creation opportunities for small business owners; honor and enhance the neighborhood’s cultural diversity and history; deliver a community asset tailored to the community’s expressed priorities and opportunities; and advance goals of area-specific action plans.

Since 2006, Prosper Portland has awarded more than $12 million to more than 200 community livability projects across multiple urban renewal areas.

The full list of 2019-20 recipients follows.

ProjectDescriptionTIF DistrictFiscal YearAward
Bosco-Milligan FoundationImprovements to Architectural Heritage CenterCentral Eastside2023-2024$30,000
Central Eastside TogetherSeries of public art muralsCentral Eastside2023-2024$50,000
DepaveCommunity greenspaceCentral Eastside2023-2024$50,000
Friends of Green LoopCommunity space at Bear BlockCentral Eastside2023-2024$16,500
Literary ArtsRenovation of new HQCentral Eastside2023-2024$123,000
Miracle Theatre GroupCapital improvementsCentral Eastside2023-2024$15,900
deRose Community Bridge & Holistic WellnessCommunity space safety improvementsGateway Regional Center2023-2024$200,000
American LegionBuilding updatesInterstate Corridor2023-2024$45,000
Cascade AIDS ProjectExpansion to second locationInterstate Corridor2023-2024$72,000
Center of Attention CDCFacilities upgrade for after-school programInterstate Corridor2023-2024$60,000
DisjectaBuilding updatesInterstate Corridor2023-2024$25,000
PoShines Cafe de la SoulCulinary training kitchen upgradeInterstate Corridor2023-2024$18,750
St Johns BoostersPlaza lightingInterstate Corridor2023-2024$50,500
St Paul MissionaryCommunity kitchenInterstate Corridor2023-2024$28,750
Portland Youth BuildersTechnology training program build-outLents Town Center2023-2024$80,000
Quotes from recipients:

“Human Solutions is proud to include a Community Livability Grant from Prosper Portland in our mixed-use development in East Portland’s Gateway neighborhood. This catalytic project is a true public-private partnership, combining multiple funding sources to deliver key assets that the community supports, including affordable and market-rate housing, retail spaces with a focus on local and minority-owned enterprises, and an anchor office for Human Solutions, all adjacent to Discovery Park. We look forward to welcoming everyone in 2021!”  Andy Miller, Human Solutions Executive Director

“Guardian Partners is proud to receive the Community Livability Grant. ADA improvements to our office will allow class attendees with limited mobility to safely enter the building and access services. Furthermore, this investment will lead to an inclusive and developed business district in the Gateway neighborhood.” Marc Kochanski, Executive Director, Guardian Partners

“Now more than ever, Hacienda CDC appreciates this investment to improve the Portland Mercado, a hub for Latino culture in Portland and an important part of the Lents Town Center community. With this grant, we will provide a more welcoming space for visitors and guests while improving the economic outcome of Latino, Latina and Latinx Empresarios.” Ernesto Fonseca, CEO Hacienda CDC

“Imago is very excited about this award. It allows us to begin a three-part strategic plan to make our facility completely ADA accessible and offer to all our patrons and art partners a fully functional arts center!” Jerry Mouawad & Carol Triffle, Co-Artistic Directors

“P:ear is thrilled to partner with Prosper Portland to upgrade and highlight our on-site job training programs for youth experiencing homelessness. Coffee Works, with its retail window serving our neighborhood the excellent coffee it deserves (M-F from 7:30 am-1 pm), and our Art Works gallery, showcasing the work of youth artists alongside professional artists every First Thursday, help connect youth to the Portland community and build their futures within that community. We look forward to being open for regular business hours soon.” Pippa Arend, Development Director/Co-Founder

“This award couldn’t have come at a more important time for our organization and we’re incredibly grateful to Prosper Portland for investing in us and our mission to transform and enrich the lives of performers and audiences through comedy. Kickstand is thrilled to have been given the ability to fast track so many of the long-term renovation goals we have dreamed of for our organization. We can’t wait to finally be able to match the quality of our facilities with the shows, classes, and community programming that have led us to become the fastest growing comedy theater in Portland. Prosper Portland’s Community Livability Grant has given us great confidence in our ability to continue promoting Old Town’s role as a rapidly growing cultural area during an uncertain time. And it allows us to expand our commitment to bringing live comedy from diverse and unique voices to the neighborhood, improving Old Town’s overall livability and honoring its diversity and unique history.” Chris Williams, Board President, Kickstand Comedy

“We are so thankful to have Prosper Portland’s support in getting one step closer to realizing our dream of having a space where we can organize and host events that honor and enhance our cultural diversity, and offer support and respite from the stresses that many of our marginalized community face, especially during this extraordinary difficult time.” Sabina Urdes, Founding Executive Director, East Portland Collective

“We are extremely proud to have been selected as a recipient of Prosper Portland’s Interstate Corridor Community Livability Grant. Funding will be used to renovate our gym space, ensure community accessibility and safety while advancing the historic legacy of our building, which has been supporting the advancement of young people, residents and businesses in the interstate corridor since 1929.” Maddie Andrews, Interim Executive Director, Friends of the Children